Know How / Environment

Get the latest news on environmental, wildlife and rewilding issues on farms and farmland. Keep up-to-date on a range of farm environment matters including climate change, Defra’s greening policies and environmental compliance. Get advice on measures to improve your farm’s environmental credentials and sustainable future, such as planting trees, reducing your carbon footprint and reducing waste.

Must reads: Coping with climate change

Practical advice

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SOILS

How to accurately measure the organic carbon content of soil

How to measure organic carbon in soils and, even more importantly, accurately measure how it changes over time, are major challenges in the potential development of new income streams for…

BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

Biodiversity Net Gain – what is it, how will it work?

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) requires the effect on biodiversity of a new development to be quantified, and following development, the overall amount of natural habitat to be enhanced and left…

BUSINESS CLINIC

Business Clinic: What should I consider for reservoir plan?

Whether you have a legal, tax, insurance, management or land issue, Farmers Weekly’s Business Clinic experts can help. Building a reservoir is a challenge in itself. Bringing in 'waste' materials…

DAIRY

Ways to reduce dairy greenhouse gas emissions to hit targets

Dairy farmers can make some easy strides to improve their carbon footprint as pressure mounts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from farms. The NFU has set a target for farming…

SOILS

7 ways to flood-proof soils and improve drainage

Arable growers need to follow a seven-point plan to improve their soil structure especially if, as expected, new farm support payments will depend on healthy soils. With many arable areas…

CROP MANAGEMENT

Why surviving oilseed rape crops are worth persevering with

Oilseed rape growers should persevere with their crops this spring and apply early nitrogen fertiliser, to help combat low soil mineral nitrogen levels after the wet winter. Many crops have…

Case studies

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SOILS

How regenerative farming cut fixed costs by 40% in first year

It is safe to say Nick Padwick isn’t looking for a long transition to farming using regenerative agricultural principles at Ken Hill Farms and Estate, near Snettisham. With an immediate…

AWARDS

Farmers Weekly Awards: Environmental Champion finalists 2020

Farming is more than just a business. Farmers are caretakers of the land and always aim to leave it in a better state than they found it. This year, farmers…

ENVIRONMENT

How to promote wildlife and have a profitable arable farm

Farmers are looking at ways to tie environmental practices into commercial operations without affecting their bottom line, as the Basic Payment Scheme is phased out in favour of providing public…

SOILS

AHDB strategic farm puts regenerative farming into practice

Building a more resilient production system is the main aim of Balbirnie Home Farms in Fife, as the mixed farming business prepares to become the AHDB’s Strategic Cereal Farm in…

SOILS

Organic arable farm goes carbon negative for Brexit future

Rising soil organic matter levels are soaking up greenhouse gases, giving one Cambridgeshire organic farm a negative carbon balance and preparing it for a no-subsidy Brexit future. Less ploughing and…

OILSEED RAPE

Video: Harvest on carbon-neutral OSR grower's farm

Duncan Farrington, an arable farmer in Northamptonshire, who produced the world’s first carbon- and plastic-neutral food product, has now completed harvest of his 36ha of rapeseed where the hybrid variety…

Insights

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HEALTH AND WELFARE

How regenerative farming can improve livestock health

Claire Whittle is a veterinary surgeon at LLM Farm Vets. She has been awarded a 2021 Nuffield Farming Scholarship for work on regenerative agriculture in the livestock sector. She explains…

BEEF

Beef farmers split over ‘carbon tax’ plan for older cattle

Plans to impose a "carbon tax" on farmers who finish prime beef cattle later than 27 months old have split industry opinion.  The proposed £100 per head levy aims to…

BEEF

How suckler herds can reduce carbon footprint by 40%

Research conducted by the Stabiliser Cattle Company and Alltech E-CO2 has revealed that suckler producers can achieve a near 40% reduction in carbon footprint while saving £350 per cow place…

ENVIRONMENT

Why carbon reduction goal makes good business sense

While reducing greenhouse gases might not seem like a business priority, farmers are waking up to the cost savings as well as the environmental benefits of reducing their carbon footprint. …

ROTATIONS

Why whole-field stewardship has a place in arable rotations

A re-think of arable rotations is seeing greater integration of whole-field stewardship options, as growers look for ways to deliver both environmental and economic returns ahead of the arrival of…

ENVIRONMENT

Scientists developing EBV for lower methane emission

Farmers could be selecting cattle bred to produce lower methane emissions in the near future, according to a leading scientist. Methane is an important greenhouse gas, with 28-times the potential…

COMPLIANCE

Farmers plan nitrate trading system for Poole Harbour

In an innovative solution to protecting wildlife from agricultural nutrients in the Pool Harbour catchment area, farmers are working with the NFU and Wessex Water on a scheme to reduce…

Latest environment news

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ENVIRONMENT

Blueprint launched for climate-friendly Scottish beef sector

A report commissioned by the Scottish government has recommended a scheme that it says will help the country’s beef sector reduce its climate change impact while increasing efficiency. The report…

BUSINESS

CAP reform ring-fences 20% for environmental measures

EU agriculture ministers have agreed to ringfence 20% of direct farm support payments for green measures under CAP reform proposals.   Member states voted through the proposal on a qualified…

POULTRY

Water pollution threatens Powys poultry unit approvals

Planning approvals for new poultry units could be suspended in one Welsh county amid concern over links to rising river nutrient levels. Powys has a high concentration of intensive poultry…

ENVIRONMENT

Nature-friendly farm group joins food security debate

Farm businesses will go bust and food security is at risk, unless UK policy helps farmers to balance food production with nature and climate-friendly farming, so the Nature Friendly Farming…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

New Zealand sheep and beef farms 'close to carbon neutral'

New Zealand’s beef and sheep farms are practically carbon neutral, says an independent study looking at sequestration in vegetation. An Auckland University of Technology project has concluded that farms can…

FARM ENERGY

NI farmers call for fairness over biomass inspections

Northern Ireland farm leaders have called for fairness from the government when inspecting biomass boilers. More than 1,000 sites in Northern Ireland have been subject to an investigation as part…

LIVESTOCK

Net-zero carbon goal a ‘huge challenge’ for livestock

The UK livestock industry faces a huge challenge to achieve the government’s net-zero carbon emission target for 2050, according to a study by independent scientists. To deliver the target, agriculture…

ENVIRONMENT

Farmers key in fight against climate change – minister

Growers and livestock producers must take action to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change, a government minister has warned. Although emissions had fallen over…

PAYMENTS, SCHEMES AND GRANTS

Government extends £5,000 grant scheme for flood-hit farmers

Farmers and rural businesses whose properties were affected by flooding last winter have been given more time to apply for government grants of up to £5,000.   Defra announced on…

COMPLIANCE

Plumpton College fined £50,000 for 'serious' pollution incident

Plumpton College in East Sussex has been fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £45,000 in relation to a serious pollution incident that occurred on the college-run Lambert Farm…

WILDLIFE

Union seeks farmers' views on sea eagle predation

Farmers and crofters in Scotland are being asked to submit evidence about the impact white-tailed sea eagles may be having on their businesses and livelihoods. NFU Scotland (NFUS) has opened…

FARM POLICY

Defra targets phosphorus and nitrate to reduce pollution from fa...

Reducing pollution from farming and increasing wildlife habitats are among new targets set out by Defra to help the UK’s “green recovery”. The government says it will introduce at least…

Video

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OILSEED RAPE

Video: Harvest on carbon-neutral OSR grower's farm

Duncan Farrington, an arable farmer in Northamptonshire, who produced the world’s first carbon- and plastic-neutral food product, has now completed harvest of his 36ha of rapeseed where the hybrid variety…

WEATHER

Video: Farmer appeals for 'common sense' after crop flooded

Worcestershire grower Michael Lewis' recently drilled crop of spring wheat has been ruined by the floods. After wet weather scuppered his chances of drilling wheat last autumn, Mr Lewis took…

WEATHER

Video: Farmers in race to save in-lamb ewes from floods

A farming family in Herefordshire devastated by heavy flooding have described the race against time to save heavily in-lamb sheep from drowning. When lambing sheds housing 250 ewes began to…

ENVIRONMENT

Video: Why farmers are facing recycling headaches

Plastic and tyre waste disposal is a growing problem for agriculture. Environmental regulations require farmers to dispose of waste through reputable waste management services and they need to show proof…